Start that dialogue

Starting That Dialogue

At some point in our lives, many of us will be faced with either caring for someone or needing care ourselves. The importance of starting the dialogue with a parent or a loved one about accepting outside support has been the subject of numerous articles. This support may be in the form of someone mowing the yard, clearing the gutters, cleaning the house, or cooking the meals. Regardless of the level of help needed, it’s a difficult conversation to start because accepting help usually results in a change of lifestyle for the care receiver, and oftentimes for the caregiver, too. This is … Read More

alzheimers know the signs

Alzheimer’s – Do You Know the Signs?

The elderly patriarch of the family was a pillar of strength for not only his family, but also his community and church. He was kind, considerate, and always available if someone needed help. His outgoing nature and sense of humor hid the exhibition of the early signs of Alzheimer’s and his family’s and friend’s realization of those signs.

He would venture out daily in his car to run some errands or to just cruise the neighborhood. Since he was retired, these daily exclusions didn’t cause alarm to his family. With the passing of time, his … Read More

Information for my Caregiver

Information for My Caregiver

My recent trip to Texas included a Caregiver Lunch & Learn in San Antonio. Laura, my business partner, and I met many amazing people including sponsors, caregivers, and care receivers. One woman in particular made quite the impression on me. She is the youngest of 14 children and the caregiver for an older sister who had a stroke years ago.

Laura and I were astounded to learn there are 90 million Americans who care for loved ones. The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that “an estimated 66% of caregivers are female”. Participants in the event shared many stories about the frustration of both the caregiver and the care receiver regarding doctors, hospitals, medications, medical histories, health directives, living wills, and … Read More

National Family Caregivers Month

November Is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Every day, more than 44 million family members, friends and volunteers devote time, energy, and resources in providing assistance and care. When asked about caregiving, most people immediately think of an older relative who receives care at an assisted living facility or nursing home and no longer lives at home. But often the term refers to one actually giving the care such as the parent of a child with special needs, the spouse of a wounded soldier, or the adult child of a parent diagnosed with MS, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.

Caregiving is exhausting, both physically and emotionally, and a spousal caregiver has the … Read More

death of the caregiver

Death of the Caregiver

Nearly every day I read or hear about the growing crisis of caregivers and the demands made on their time and finances when caring for a family member or loved one. Informal or unpaid caregivers are frequently diagnosed  with depression or anxiety, exhibit a higher than normal use of medications (both prescription and over the counter) and often have a compromised immune system. The caregiver may also have to cope with their care receiver’s confusion, sadness and general unhappiness which begets violent behavior. Statistics show … Read More

don't want to be your caregiver

I Don’t Want To Be Your Caregiver

I recently read an online article about a very difficult caregiver situation which generated many passionate comments. I refrain from passing judgment, but the comments were quite specific regarding the assumed caregiver’s actions.

The article dealt with a husband who cheated on his wife. After she discovered his infidelity, she was deciding whether or not to leave him. But, then she received a call stating he’d been in a car accident. His injuries were so severe, it was quite possible he would never walk again, never feed nor … Read More

organ donation

The Gift of Life – Organ Donation

In late April 2017, an amazing and compassionate woman approached the Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL and offered to donate one of her kidneys to a total stranger. This woman’s generosity started the first-ever ‘transplant chain’ at Memorial that ultimately involved eight patients and provided kidneys to four people. This is the story of Misty Shaw, 49, of Springfield.

On September 19th, Misty donated her kidney to a woman who now has the chance for a longer life and can end the rigorous process of dialysis she had undergone the previous 2 ½ years. The husband of the woman who received Misty’s kidney then donated one of his to a … Read More

Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at several senior living facilities about Legacy Planning. My actual presentations can vary because they are designed for the attendees.

At one senior living facility, the majority of the audience was individuals who lived there. They were a delightful group of seniors who willingly shared their stories about downsizing, moving, and distributing their possessions in order to accommodate their smaller living spaces. In those two hours, the stories ranged from the cost of assisted living to caring for pets to funeral arrangements. One gentleman talked about his dog and the joy of being able to have his pet with him at this particular … Read More